Several counties in the US state of Arkansas are rushing to pass emergency legislation allowing them to control noise and other activities related to crypto mining before a new state law takes effect on August 1, according to local media reports.
The new state law brings crypto mining facilities under the same regulations applied to data centers, creating guidelines for miners and protecting them from discriminatory regulations and taxes. Arkansas residents, however, barely had time to discuss the new legislation, which was proposed, debated in committee, and passed by lawmakers in one week, from March 30 to April 7.
State Representative Rick McClure, who authored the bill, reportedly said that “nobody spoke against this bill in committee, or on the legislative floor.” Crypto mining companies in Arkansas include Green Digital, GMI Computing, United BitEngine and Cryptic Farms.
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Local authorities are adopting more rules to address complaints about excessive noise 24 hours a day. “I don’t have a problem with crypto mining, just the noise level, the lack of concern for our neighbors,” said Kris Kendrick, Faulkner County Quorum Court justice of the peace, during a July meeting.
After the bill passed, the Arkansas Association of Counties drafted a model ordinance that counties can use before the law takes effect. Since June, more than a dozen counties have reportedly passed noise ordinances targeting data centers.
“I also want to point out that it’s not these people who go out on the front porch and [not] being able to enjoy a cup of tea sitting on the back porch. These people can hear this sound 24/7 from their bedrooms,” Justice of the Peace Maree Coats is reported to have said.
While not outright banning county regulations, the new legislation prohibits local governments from discriminating against crypto-mining facilities or limiting decibel levels “in addition to the limits established for noise pollution in general.” Counties are also prohibited from rezoning areas “with the intent or effect of discriminating against” digital mining operations.
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